Music Stimuli for Mindfulness Practice: A Replication Study

Eugenia Hernandez-Ruiz, Abbey L. Dvorak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Mindfulness is a natural human capacity to be aware of the present moment, without judgment, rejection, or attachment to it. Cultivating a mindful state has been related to improvements in mood and stress management. Mindfulness practices may be enhanced with music. The purpose of this study was to replicate a previous study regarding the effectiveness, preference, and usefulness of different auditory stimuli for mindfulness practice. Undergraduate nonmusicians (N = 53) listened to 4 different auditory stimuli of increasing complexity, guiding them in a mindfulness experience. Participants rated their mindfulness experience, provided data on their absorption in music, and ranked auditory stimuli according to preference and usefulness for mindfulness practice. A within-subjects design was used to compare the four conditions, counterbalanced, and randomized across participants. Similar to the original study, Friedman analysis of variances (ANOVAs) and post hoc analyses indicated that participants ranked the Melody and Harmony conditions as most preferred and useful. Different from the original results, the repeated-measures ANOVA of the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale scores did not reveal significant differences among auditory stimuli for mindfulness experience. These results provide support for the use of music in mindfulness experiences with a mildly complex stimulus (script, beat, harmony, and melody). However, partially replicated results indicate the need to investigate the discrepancy between participants' effectiveness ratings and preference/usefulness rankings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-176
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Music Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • absorption in music
  • complexity
  • mindfulness
  • music
  • replication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Music


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